The resignation of Congressman Christopher Cox, who left the House after being appointed as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission by President Bush, has caused a special election in the heart of Orange County, in one of the most Republican House districts in California. The registration in the 48th District is 50 percent GOP to 27 percent Democratic. Governor Schwarzenegger has called the election for Dec. 6, which makes the primary Oct 4.
If there was ever “safe” GOP territory, this would be it: The 48th takes in the coastal cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Dana Point, and stretches inland to take in Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Irvine, Lake Forest, Tustin and Orange.
The front-runner to succeed Cox is state Sen. John Campbell, who is very much in the mold of Cox, an ideologue whose rhetoric could have been memorized from the speeches of Ronald Reagan. Campbell has been successful in the automotive business, and boasts high name ID, having just been elected to the state Senate last year. Campbell has secured an array of prominent endorsers, crowned by a rare pre-primary endorsement from the Governor.